Have you ever had a conversation with someone whose opinion you respect – a teacher, physician or financial advisor – only to realize that you have no idea what he or she is trying to tell you, or how it applies to you? The most frustrating part is that you are probably left assuming that it’s your fault if you fail to follow along with what an experienced professional has to say.
The truth is, when we financial advisors aren’t speaking your language, you owe it to yourself to tell us so, in no uncertain terms. It is, after all, your money and your life’s goals at stake. But after that, it should be more on us than on you to shift the conversation.
Whenever we find ourselves lapsing into “financial speak” (sometimes we just can’t help ourselves!), we can remind ourselves of our true aim by referring to the following illustration. This contrasts what most investors are seeking from financial professionals, versus how we advisors tend to describe what we do.
The illustration shows that investors and advisors are generally talking about the same thing, just using different words. However, if we fail to make those all-important connections in our conversations, the language barrier can be insurmountable. Next time an advisor dives too deep into the charts and graphs, and forgets to circle back to how it applies to you, do yourself – and your advisor – a favour, remind him or her that it’s time to connect the dots.